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Stuart Wexler

Question for Martin

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I have been late to join this discussion, but I wanted to ask Martin something as he is writing his review.

Can you list the specific examples where an author said something that Ray himself said was fundamentally at odds with what Ray said? Not where Ray said he opposed the conclusions or direction taken by the author. Not where Ray's attorneys made insinuations about said author. But actual examples, in his many books, many interviews, and actual testimony, where Ray said: "Author X said A, but I said Z." Given that you say this is the focus on your upcoming review, I want to make sure we are talking about the same material. I don't think we need great detail, just a quick bullet list would be fine.

-Stu

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I anxiously await to see if the "whole lot of people" who lied about Ray include, for instance, Annie Estelle Peters, the piedmont laundry desk clerk who confirmed Ray's presence in Atlanta when Ray claimed he was in Memphis post-gun purchase. The receipt from the laundry corroborates Peters. Nothing corroborates Ray. For instance no one has ever been able to find any record of Ray staying anywhere in Memphis at the relevant time. The normal approach to such an issue would be to see Peters, who has no known reason to lie, and has a receipt to prove her point, as reliable, and to treat Ray-- who has every reason to lie about this and no corroboration for his account-- as being untruthful. I hope your review deals with this basic issue of protocol and research methodology that you yourself are employing. And I hope you are prepared to defend it. Such that if I applied to your own positions on the King case, that they would hold up. Larry and I, for instance, hold the default position that one should be skeptical of what James Earl Ray says unless he (a) had no obvious reason to deceive and (B) can be corroborated; we do that because we would apply the same approach to ANY career criminal, convicted of a serious crime, much less one who affirmed his complicity in front of a judge, only to immediately retract it. If you give some default credibiity to Ray then you have to explain why Ray deserves any more benefit of the doubt beyond any other person in a similar position to him. If you can't do that without, more or less saying "he tells me what I want to hear" you better have some compelling reasons for everyone else to believe what you want to hear, independent of Ray.

For years I dealt with Ken Rahn, who taught his students a set of reasonably sound empirical principles for figurig out the truth, then consistently and flagrantly violated those principles when it came to his own work on bullet lead. The end result was years of Rahn insisting everyone respect his own authority, begging the question, and overstating his conclusions even as the science around him crumbled to the ground. Let's not go down the same path.

-Stu

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Martin, I'm not going to jump into the middle of this other than to offer the following. First, we have no apprehension about the book an are happy to let it stand on its own - it has already been endorsed by a number of people familiar with the case including Gerald McKnight who wrote the forward and Peter Dale Scott who gave it a five star Amazon review and described it as the best book to date on the MLK assassination.

What disturbs me is that fact that over the last decade or so we have become so polarized that it seems we are approaching the point to where we can't talk with each other, much list assist each other in research. Honestly, irrespective of your review it would have been educational to have your answer about Ray, you may very well have a better insight into that than we do. But when we all start talking about each other more than the events we research, I think we lose. I work by email with a lot of folks who have different opinions - even people who have written and writing books that are very much counter to my own views - I still answer their questions.

I admit that a couple of years ago I began to avoid forums because they seem to have more heat than substance, looks like that hasn't changed since I was active before. I'll just leave it at that.

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I think the forum is changing (or maybe I am). Seems to me there is more respect that allows divergent opinions to exist. Of course no-one's perfect (yes, me too (yes, really) ). If you want to put out a fire use water, not petrol. I think one thing is to not have the last word.

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Absolutely Martin, I think I promised not to pester you with MLK posts when the book came out but I have to admit that your remark to Joe B about the review being very critical and his liking it did trigger a bit of testosterone....I don't claim to be totally emotionless..

We will wait for your review and then simply post a point/counterpoint response. - that should allow anyone interested to reach their own conclusions. Beyond that, as with JFK, MLK and RFK both Stu and are very much involved in ongoing research on all three political assassinations so we need to be at that.

-- Larry

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It galls me that someone who telegraphs his (negative) review to someone who slammed our book before it came out could find such tame posts "appalling."

Let me be less tame. You are someone who has been given a voice to express his opinions on books. Those books have audiences. It is highly convenient for you that you can do that and no one is allowed to make a response. We put in several years of work on this and have commanded the respect of people who have literally taught courses on the subject. So let me be clear: if you are going to embrace the kind of "mother-of-my-own-theory" reasoning you display in your dialogues with Len Colby, you are going to embarass yourself. I am not trying to foreclose your review. I am trying to get you to consider how it might look, if say, you attempt to discredit our work for using William B. Huie-- even though he is far from foundational for our book-- while you, say, rely exclusively on James Earl Ray for *anything* and embrace *any* of the theories of gullible William Pepper. Keep that in mind because, from the way you argue with Len, it won't be pretty. You have a responsibility to hold yourself to the same standards you hold others. From what I see thus far, I am far from confident.

-Stu

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Let's be clear though: I did not say the review was going to be "negative" I said it would be "critical" - not exactly the same thing.

Yes but you also wrote: “ut I must note that your apprehension suggests that you have very little faith in your own book and, having read it, I'm not surprised”, that’s pretty negative isn’t it?

I also want to assure you that my reviews stick to the evidence as far as possible and I would never intentionally use them as a platform for promoting my own theories - not that I have any with regard to the MLK assassination.

You don’t have any “theories…with regard to the MLK assassination”? Really?

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